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Pack Square, Asheville

4.3
#11 of 15 in Sightseeing in Asheville
Landmark Tourist Spot
The vision of a park in Asheville's historic central square dates back more than 100 years. In 1901, philanthropist George Willis Pack gave the county a plot of land for a new courthouse on College Street. The terms of the gift required the county to demolish the old courthouse, which then stood on the square, and to maintain the square as a public park forever.

The dream of improving this space has been revived periodically over the years, and, in 1999, a water leak under a street in Pack Square brought the topic to the forefront once again. As it became clear that extensive work would be required to update water lines in the area, a citizens' group launched a discussion about creating a beautiful new public park that would embrace Pack Square and City-County Plaza. Community and business leaders and elected officials joined the conversation and formed the Pack Square Renaissance task force, which began the lengthy task of planning the 6.5-acre park.

In October 2000, Pack Square Conservancy was established as a non-profit organization charged with designing, building and funding the new park. The planning and design process continued for several years and included 24 public workshops and forums in which hundreds of citizens voiced their preferences for a variety of features. The most popular requests were for open green space, water features, original art by regional artists, a large performance stage and public restrooms. Construction on the park infrastructure began in the east end of the park in late 2005.

Thanks to the generous contributions and hard work of hundreds of people, Pack Square Park is no longer just a dream! Historic Pack Square opened in stages over the summer of 2009, and the fences came down in Roger McGuire Green on September 25. Life is returning to the park as families and friends gather to admire the fountains, the handmade tiles on the stage, the Veterans’ Memorial and the lush green grass.

Events are now being scheduled in Pack Square and McGuire Green through the City of Asheville Parks & Recreation Department. All reservations, fees and permitting are handled by the folks at Parks & Rec.

Pack Square Park is not only a beautiful and delightful space that speaks eloquently of the land and its people, it represents the generous philanthropic spirit established by George Willis Pack and carried forward to this day by individuals who devote their energies to building community and quality of life.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
153 reviews
Google
4.7
  • Lots of restaurants and shopping of different types. I really liked the open air concert on Saturday. This is okay if you have kids- but no playground.  more »
  • Our two-year-old love playing in the water and being surprised where the waterspouts popped up and disappeared from  more »
  • We spent a pleasant couple of hours here on a very hot and humid day, reading books and watching folks come an go, kids playing in the fountains, and enjoying the breeze.  more »
Google
  • Great location! No matter how large the event, there always seems to be enough space to make you and your family comfortable. Stage is easily viewed from the entire block (as long as you're within the trees) and porter potties with disposable sinks are provided from time to time.
  • This is a great park to take a break from downtown! It's kept pretty clean of trash and other rifraf. A fountain to cool off in and neat water features to help relax complete the parks attractions. Lots of shade trees and benches too! Public restrooms are available but not totally reliable.
  • Pack Square Park is a great little park in the heart of Downtown Asheville. There's a concert stage, a water fountain for kids to play in, and plenty of shaded seating. It's a nice place to relax and enjoy a conversation.
  • Seemed nice but was extremely packed on our first visit for 4th of July. Hard to give fair rating. A lot around it though and great sitting areas.
  • This was really the first place I ever busked. The idea of playing on the street terrified me as would most but something about Asheville and how welcoming it is for artists made it okay. What I love about this area is that there are people from all walks of life and an openness and an appreciation for arts and new things. Asheville, North Carolina is a very special City on the east coast and not to be missed.

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Where to stay in Asheville

To take advantage of the best Asheville has to offer without breaking the bank, stay at one of the city's small motels, many of which offer free breakfast buffets and plenty of secure parking. Asheville's historical district contains most of the city's bed and breakfasts, allowing you to stay within a short walk of downtown shopping, dining, and entertainment. The area also boasts numerous budget-friendly hostels, offering inexpensive private rooms for backpackers. For something completely different, rent an eco-friendly cabin in a wooded area just a short drive from the city.
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